Code of Virginia

Code of Virginia
4/26/2017

Workforce Transition Act of 1995

§ 2.2-3200. Short title; purpose.

A. This chapter shall be known as the Workforce Transition Act of 1995.

B. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a transitional severance benefit, under the conditions specified, to eligible state employees who are involuntarily separated from their employment with the Commonwealth. "Involuntary separation" includes, but is not limited to, terminations and layoffs from employment with the Commonwealth, or being placed on leave without pay-layoff or equivalent status, due to budget reductions, agency reorganizations, workforce down-sizings, or other causes not related to the job performance or misconduct of the employee, but shall not include voluntary resignations. As used in this chapter, a "terminated employee" shall mean an employee who is involuntarily separated from employment with the Commonwealth.

1995, cc. 152, 811, § 2.1-116.20; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-3201. Duties of Department of Human Resource Management and executive branch agencies to involuntarily separated employees.

A. Prior to terminating or placing on leave without pay-layoff or equivalent status any employee of an agency or institution in the executive branch of state government, the management of the agency or institution shall make every effort to place the employee in any vacant position within the agency for which the employee is qualified. If reemployment within the agency or institution is not possible because there is no available position for which the employee is qualified or the position offered to the employee requires relocation or a reduction in salary, the name of the employee shall be forwarded to the Department of Human Resource Management (the "Department").

B. Any preferential employment rights vested in the employee under the Commonwealth's layoff policy shall not be denied, abridged, or modified in any way by the Department. The Department shall coordinate the preferential hiring of the employee, at the same salary classification, in any agency or institution of the executive branch of state government. The Department shall also establish a program to assist employees in finding employment outside of state government.

C. If, as of the date the employee is terminated from employment or placed on leave without pay-layoff or equivalent status, reemployment within his agency or institution or any other agency or institution of the executive branch of state government is not possible because there is no available position for which the employee is qualified or the position offered to the employee requires relocation or a reduction in salary, then the employee shall be deemed to be involuntarily separated. If such employee is otherwise eligible, he shall be entitled, under the conditions specified, to receive the transitional severance benefit conferred by this chapter.

D. The Department shall report all involuntary separations in the executive branch of state government to the Department of Planning and Budget, which shall make an appropriate reduction, pursuant to § 2.2-1501, in the terminating agency's maximum employment level in preparing its executive budget for the next session of the General Assembly.

1995, cc. 152, 811, § 2.1-116.21; 2000, cc. 66, 657; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-3202. Eligibility for transitional severance benefit.

A. Any full-time employee of the Commonwealth (i) whose position is covered by the Virginia Personnel Act (§ 2.2-2900 et seq.), (ii) whose position is exempt from the Virginia Personnel Act pursuant to subdivisions 2, 4 (except those persons specified in subsection C of this section), 7, 15 or 16 of § 2.2-2905, (iii) who is employed by the State Corporation Commission, (iv) who is employed by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission, (v) who is employed by the Virginia Retirement System, (vi) who is employed by the Virginia Lottery, (vii) who is employed by the Medical College of Virginia Hospitals or the University of Virginia Medical Center, (viii) who is employed at a state educational institution as faculty (including, but not limited to, presidents and teaching and research faculty) as defined in the Consolidated Salary Authorization for Faculty Positions in Institutions of Higher Education, 1994-95, or (ix) whose position is exempt from the Virginia Personnel Act pursuant to subdivision 3 or 20 of § 2.2-2905; and (a) for whom reemployment with the Commonwealth is not possible because there is no available position for which the employee is qualified or the position offered to the employee requires relocation or a reduction in salary and (b) whose involuntary separation was due to causes other than job performance or misconduct, shall be eligible, under the conditions specified, for the transitional severance benefit conferred by this chapter. The date of involuntary separation shall mean the date an employee was terminated from employment or placed on leave without pay-layoff or equivalent status.

B. An otherwise eligible employee whose position is contingent upon project grants as defined in the Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance, shall not be eligible for the transitional severance benefit conferred by this chapter unless the funding source had agreed to assume all financial responsibility therefor in its written contract with the Commonwealth.

C. Members of the Judicial Retirement System (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) and officers elected by popular vote shall not be eligible for the transitional severance benefit conferred by this chapter.

D. Eligibility shall commence on the date of involuntary separation.

E. Persons authorized by § 2.2-106 or 51.1-124.22 to appoint a chief administrative officer or the administrative head of an agency shall adhere to the same criteria for eligibility for transitional severance benefits as is required for gubernatorial appointees pursuant to subsection A.

1995, cc. 152, 811, § 2.1-116.22; 2001, c. 844; 2002, c. 491; 2003, c. 782; 2006, cc. 813, 902; 2014, c. 225.

§ 2.2-3203. Transitional severance benefit conferred.

A. On his date of involuntary separation, an eligible employee with (i) two years' service or less to the Commonwealth shall be entitled to receive a transitional severance benefit equivalent to four weeks of salary; (ii) three years through and including nine years of consecutive service to the Commonwealth shall be entitled to receive a transitional severance benefit equivalent to four weeks of salary plus one additional week of salary for every year of service over two years; (iii) ten years through and including fourteen years of consecutive service to the Commonwealth shall be entitled to receive a transitional severance benefit equivalent to twelve weeks of salary plus two additional weeks of salary for every year of service over nine years; or (iv) fifteen years or more of consecutive service to the Commonwealth shall be entitled to receive a transitional severance benefit equivalent to two weeks of salary for every year of service, not to exceed thirty-six weeks of salary.

B. Transitional severance benefits shall be computed by the terminating agency's payroll department. Partial years of service shall be rounded up to the next highest year of service.

C. Transitional severance benefits shall be paid in the same manner as normal salary. In accordance with § 60.2-229, transitional severance benefits shall be allocated to the date of involuntary separation. The right of any employee who receives a transitional severance benefit to also receive unemployment compensation pursuant to § 60.2-100 et seq. shall not be denied, abridged, or modified in any way due to receipt of the transitional severance benefit; however, any employee who is entitled to unemployment compensation shall have his transitional severance benefit reduced by the amount of such unemployment compensation. Any offset to a terminated employee's transitional severance benefit due to reductions for unemployment compensation shall be paid in one lump sum at the time the last transitional severance benefit payment is made.

D. For twelve months after the employee's date of involuntary separation, the employee shall continue to be covered under the (i) health insurance plan created in § 2.2-2818 for the Commonwealth's employees, if he participated in such plan prior to his date of involuntary separation, and (ii) group life insurance plan administered by the Virginia Retirement System pursuant to Chapter 5 (§ 51.1-500 et seq.) of Title 51.1. During such twelve months, the terminating agency shall continue to pay its share of the terminated employee's premiums. Upon expiration of such twelve month period, the terminated employee shall be eligible to purchase continuing health insurance coverage under COBRA.

E. Transitional severance benefit payments shall cease if a terminated employee is reemployed or hired in an individual capacity as an independent contractor or consultant by any agency or institution of the Commonwealth during the time he is receiving such payments.

F. All transitional severance benefits payable pursuant to this section shall be subject to applicable federal laws and regulations.

1995, cc. 152, 811, § 2.1-116.23; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-3204. Retirement program.

A. In lieu of the transitional severance benefit provided in § 2.2-3203, any otherwise eligible employee who, on the date of involuntary separation, is also (i) a vested member of the Virginia Retirement System, the State Police Officers' Retirement System, or the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System and (ii) at least 50 years of age, may elect to have the Commonwealth purchase on his behalf years to be credited to either his age or creditable service or a combination of age and creditable service, except that any years of credit purchased on behalf of a member of the Virginia Retirement System, the State Police Officers' Retirement System, or the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System who is eligible for unreduced retirement shall be added to his creditable service and not his age. If the otherwise eligible employee is (a) a person who becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, a person who does not have 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, or a person who is enrolled in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169; (b) not a member of the State Police Officers' Retirement System or the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System; and (c) a person to whom the provisions of subdivision B 3 of § 51.1-153 do not apply, then he must be at least 60 years of age on the date of involuntary separation to be eligible for the retirement program provided in this subsection. The cost of each year of age or creditable service purchased by the Commonwealth shall be equal to 15 percent of the employee's present annual compensation. The number of years of age or creditable service to be purchased by the Commonwealth shall be equal to the quotient obtained by dividing (1) the cash value of the benefits to which the employee would be entitled under subsections A and D of § 2.2-3203 by (2) the cost of each year of age or creditable service. Partial years shall be rounded up to the next highest year. Deferred retirement under the provisions of subsection C of §§ 51.1-153, 51.1-205, and 51.1-216, and disability retirement under the provisions of § 51.1-156 et seq. and § 51.1-209, shall not be available under this section.

B. In lieu of the (i) transitional severance benefit provided in § 2.2-3203 and (ii) the retirement program provided in subsection A, any employee who is otherwise eligible may take immediate retirement pursuant to § 51.1-155.1.

C. 1. The retirement allowance for a person who (i) is not a member of the State Police Officers' Retirement System or the Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System; (ii) becomes a member on or after July 1, 2010, does not have 60 months of creditable service as of January 1, 2013, or is enrolled in the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169; (iii) elects to retire under this section; and (iv) by adding years to his age is between ages 60 and the age at his "normal retirement date" as defined in § 51.1-124.3 shall be reduced on the actuarial basis provided in subdivision A 3 of § 51.1-155, unless the provisions of subdivision B 3 of § 51.1-153 apply to him.

2. The retirement allowance for any other employee electing to retire under this section who, by adding years to his age, is between ages 55 and 65 shall be reduced on the actuarial basis provided in subdivision A 2 of § 51.1-155.

1995, cc. 152, 811, § 2.1-116.24; 2000, c. 911; 2001, c. 844; 2011, c. 880; 2014, c. 356.

§ 2.2-3205. Costs associated with this chapter; payment.

A. The terminating agency shall pay all costs associated with the provisions of this chapter within the twelve months following the date of an employee's involuntary separation, or within such shorter period as may be required. The costs shall be paid first from appropriations available to the terminating agency. If such sums are insufficient, then, if the agency's governing authority certifies that the agency is unable to pay the costs when due from appropriations available to the terminating agency without affecting the agency's ability to deliver essential services, aid to localities, or aid to individuals, the State Treasurer shall make a treasury loan to the agency to be used to finance the unsatisfied balance of the agency's obligations.

B. As used in this section, the "governing authority" shall mean (i) for an agency in the executive branch, the Governor or his designee; (ii) for an agency in the judicial branch, the Supreme Court of Virginia; (iii) and for an agency in the legislative branch or an independent agency, the appropriate collegial body.

C. Any treasury loan made pursuant to subsection A shall be repaid by the agency in the following order: (i) first, from unexpended fund balances available to the agency; (ii) next, from the unexpended year-end balances, less mandated uses as set out in the appropriation act, of all other state agencies and institutions in the terminating agency's branch of government (i.e., judicial, legislative, or executive); and (iii) finally, from such appropriations as the General Assembly may provide for such purpose. In budgeting for the payment of these costs, the general fund shall bear its actual share of such costs.

1995, cc. 152, 811, § 2.1-116.25; 2001, c. 844.

§ 2.2-3206. Review of program.

The Senate Committee on Finance and the House Committee on Appropriations shall periodically review the transitional severance program established by this chapter and report their findings to the Governor and the members of the General Assembly every three years beginning on July 1, 1998.

1995, cc. 152, 811, § 2.1-116.26; 2001, c. 844.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of these sections may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.

The Virginia General Assembly is offering access to the Code of Virginia on the Internet as a service to the public. We are unable to assist users of this service with legal questions nor respond to requests for legal advice or the application of the law to specific facts. Therefore, to understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.

The Code of Virginia online database excludes material copyrighted by the publisher, Michie, a division of Matthew Bender. Copyrighted material includes annotations and revisors' notes, which may be found in the print version of the Code of Virginia. Annotated print copies of the Code of Virginia are available in most Virginia public library systems, from LexisNexis (1-800-446-3410), and from West, a Thomson-Reuters business (1-800-344-5008).